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Old 02-15-2012, 06:44 AM   #1
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Default Frustrated Home Brewer

I am a relatively new home brewer. I've done partial mash but no all grain yet (soon hopefully) and I think i had my first homebrew-epiphany... After hours, and hours, and more hours of research on the webs (as im sure most "newbrewers" do) I realized how much of homebrewing is taken WAY too seriously. I feel like the guys on youtube (and such sites) that post video after video of trying to get the perfect clarity from their beer are missing the point...

That is to say, there are a lot of homebrewers out there dedicated to perfecting total professional grade beer and immense brewing apparatuses. They are searching for perfectly clear professional grade beer OR insanely complex brewing systems with computer controlled valves and pumps etc. Maybe it's just me but I think partaking in homebrew is to indulge in non-comercial-grade beer. That's the point of homebrewing. (to me, anyhow)

Now, there is a lot to be said about perfecting your craft and producing product worthy of pride. However, there is a very thin line that exists. If a brewer is concocting homebrew focused on putting those beers up against a commercially available brew, then what's the point? The commercial beer is always going to be superior in the craft due to the science and technology (ultimatly money$) involved in producing a commercial brew.

Sipping on a homebrew, one can celebrate the inconsistencies bottle-to-bottle. One can relish in the fact that they are consuming more B vitamins because their brew hasen't been filtered. One can share the stories with friends about horrible home brew nightmares along with incredible brew success. One and celebrate the fact that there are a handful of people in the entire population of the world that will ever tase that exact variation of brew. Most importantly, one can share a product of crafting a brew with one's own hands. Those feeling will never be part of cracking even the tastiest Guinness, Steam Beer or Boulevard Wheat.

Home brews are apples and commercial brews are oranges. I feel like homebrewing has soul. Some brewers seem to loose track of that along the way with their $500 mash tuns and conical fermenters....

Sorry for the rant. Just up late and wanted to put some thoughts on paper (digitally) and see if this struck a chord with any of my Brothers in Brew...

Sláinte

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Old 02-15-2012, 07:05 AM   #2
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Commercial grade is a loose.term. we homebrew to veer away from THE commercial beer companies and to go beyond what we can find or what they can make...however, we don't want subpar beer. Commercial grade means consistancy, high quality and the ability to reproduce the results. Now you're saying, well the commercial company has ****ty beer BUT their quality is great as far as production and consistancy. That is what we want. We want to make a beer that we love and be able to make ot again exactly the same and we want to be able to experiment with them without having to worry about the minute details that a more complex system would take care of for us....some also use it as a stepping stone towards opening their own brewery.

That said, i don't use computers or vast electronics because i personally like being as involved as possible...it make me appreciate the beer more. I do however have a homemade 3 burner stand with a pump and homebuilt keggles and mlt.

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Old 02-15-2012, 07:12 AM   #3
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that setup sounds great! i hope to have something similar in the future. I guess my point was just to rant...

did you document your build at all?

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Old 02-15-2012, 07:24 AM   #4
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Your comments definitely resonate with me.

This site, and others, are great sources of information to help brewers at all stages of the hobby. However, sometimes people can get really hung up on the equipment and methods employed by some of the more experienced brewers here and elsewhere.

Most people get into brewing because they love beer, and making your own is a really interesting way to enjoy beer even more. However, not everyone's goal is going to be to reproduce commercial beers.

Especially early in the hobby, the goal for a homebrewer should be to get basic processes down pat: sanitation, temperature control, bottling/kegging, etc. As you learn more, you can choose to delve further into the hobby: experimenting with different specialty malts, big beers, advanced methods like decoction, etc.

Enjoy the hobby, don't overcomplicate it, until you're actually ready and capable of doing so.

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Old 02-15-2012, 07:48 AM   #5
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I think for many the tinkering, building, expanding, perfecting is as much a part of their enjoyment as the beer itself... I don't think any of the folks w/ crazy amazing setups got them overnight...I started w/ 2 buckets and an aluminum pot on my stovetop. Now I have a dedicated burner, multiple carboys, a mash tun, an immersion chiller, an oxygenation diffuser and countless other dodads related to my brewing. Next will be the stir plate to really kick my starters into high gear... Maybe someday it'll be the fermentation chamber and a RIMS, but it's one step at a time for me....

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Old 02-15-2012, 07:53 AM   #6
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Ummmmmm..kind of. I got all the specs, materials and such. I have a few pictured of the stand and making the kettles...i haven't yet put the pump in or the plumbing. Another.poster hit another good point. A lot of homebrewers are tinkerers, builders, innovators and handy. Part of my joy pf homebrewing is making the gadgets myself instead of buying them all from blichman. I almost enjoy building the gear more than brewing

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Old 02-15-2012, 08:56 AM   #7
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A lot of good points made here... Cool thread!

IMO, sometimes the equipment mania seems a bit like those sub-par golfers who think that getting the latest $1000 driver is going to make them as good as the big boys.

However, as something of a DIY'er, I also have to agree with the comment that making useful brewing stuff is part of the fun! Plus it saves money

Also, some equipment really DOES make a huge difference in how much I enjoy my beer. I guess the key here, as with most things, is to find a middle ground that suits you. After all, that's the whole point of brewing your own beer!

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Old 02-15-2012, 09:31 AM   #8
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I agree for the most part...although I still want to believe that I can make beer as good or better than commercial, some day.

One part I love about home brewing is the variation between each batch. If good was equivalent to consistently making the exact same thing each time, McDonalds would be great food.

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Old 02-15-2012, 10:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krane
I agree for the most part...although I still want to believe that I can make beer as good or better than commercial, some day.
oh, you can! I've had several beer lovers--who are honest enough that I don't believe they're just kissing a$$--tell me, "I'd happily pay $5 for a pint of this in a bar!" in reference to three of my beers, and I've only been brewing 13 months or so. I think that's a good first step.
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You're talking about beer. That could have been a whole lot more fun.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:40 AM   #10
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We all do this hobby for different reasons. I think to put your expectation on anyone else is not what this is about. If your reasons to homebrew are as you state then cool for you. If someone else wants a HERMS system and spend the cash in search of the holy "beer" grail then hats off to them. We all gain enjoyment out of differnt things. Some people making the recipe from scratch is the most enjoyable part for others brewing from a kit is what they want.

I think my point is while what you say is valid for you it may not be for everyone.

Cheers

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